One of the biggest questions for anyone new to sponsored work (aside from, “What should I charge?”) is: How do I know what brands to pitch?
The value of Influencer Marketing is skyrocketing and is expected to be a 13 billion dollar industry in 2022 — and an 84 billion dollar industry by 2028.
Before I joined Mediavine, I worked for the headquarters of Panhellenic Sorority, running their social media and their email marketing campaigns in addition to writing for their magazine. While in this role, I got to interact with former sisters-turned-Bachelor-contestants-turned-influencers who had discovered how to market themselves and charge for it.
Recently, I heard chatter that the minimum you should charge for sponsored work is 4% of your total following and, to me, that seems incredibly low.
With the rise of Tiktok, a shift to ecommerce on Instagram and an increased emphasis on audio and video content, the demand for sponsored content creation from micro influencers is at an all-time high.
As the demand and value of this content increases almost exponentially, it’s time to reconsider what you are charging to create sponsored content — I can almost guarantee you are charging far too little.
My professional life has always led back to Influencer Partnerships. My first internship had me reaching out to what 2015 would consider an influencer to book them for bougie spa outings, trading thousands of dollars worth of medical spa treatments for instagram posts.
At the time, I thought the prices they were charging were astronomical, but now, on the other side of it all, I realize they were charging too little. You know what they say about hindsight being 20/20.
Content created by influential voices now goes beyond its intrinsic value of brand awareness. Today, influencers provides so much added value: hard conversion to sales and sign ups, cost savings of hiring professional photographers, user generated content and more.
The amount of money and time you are saving a brand while making them money and increasing brand awareness to your trusted audience should be reflected in your pricing.
In my role as part of Mediavine’s Influencer Partnerships department, far too often, when putting together proposals for brand partnerships, I find myself bumping up rates from our publishers for blog posts and especially for video creation.
You read that right — we often bump your rates higher because you deserve more for the work you’re doing.
I think it’s easy to get caught up in “industry rules” and undervalue yourself and the time that it takes for you to create quality content that engages your audience.
“Industry Rules” to ignore:
- 4% of your following
- $100 for every 1,000 followers
- Charging one flat fee for your services and not accounting for the amount of deliverables, equipment needed and delivery date
“The industry rules ignore the relationship you have cultivated with your social media community.”
– Gabriella Crespo
The industry rules ignore the relationship you have cultivated with your social media community. They also fail to take into account the creative process and time that goes into content creation.
So, how do you know how much you should be charging?
The best way to determine how much you should be charging is by estimating how much time you will need to complete the project from conception to content going live.
How many hours of planning do you need?
How long will it take for you to brainstorm ideas and map out how to best promote the brand to your audience?
How long will it take for you to shoot content?
Do you have to hire a photographer? Are you filming a video? Some campaigns require more effort than others therefore requiring more of your time, and potentially your money.
How long will it take you to write copy for social media and/or an entire blog post?
Naturally, a 1500 word blog post is going to take longer than social media copy. Be sure to account for how many hours it will take you to write and edit a blog post and copy optimized for each social media channel
You should also take into consideration what the brand is requesting from you beyond content.
Does the brand want to license your content?
Oftentimes, a brand will want the right to reuse content created by influencers for their own marketing campaigns. Be sure to clarify whether or not the brand wants to use your content as their own and for how long. Most brands license content for six months but others will sometimes want to reuse content for years. You should charge more to license your work and base the amount on how much time they want to license it for.
We recommend at least 10% of the entire content price for six months of licensing. If you don’t know where to start, Getty Images has a handy calculator to give you a better idea of how to structure licensing fees.
Does the brand want exclusivity?
If the brand wants you to promote their products exclusively for a certain amount of time, meaning they’re the only brand in that product category you can create sponsored posts for, you should price your content accordingly.
The general rule of thumb is to charge the base rate for each month they request exclusivity. If you charge $1200 for a blog post and social shares of a certain makeup brand and they want you to work with no other makeup brands for three months, you should charge them $1200×3.
Remember that you are potentially missing out on collaborations with other brands when you agree to exclusivity and you should price your posts to reflect that.
Does the brand want to whitelist your content?
If the brand wants to whitelist your content, they get control over how it is shared and advertised. This makes the brand seem more organic instead of running advertisements from their own social accounts. Most creators charge a fee similar to their licensing fee for whitelisted content.
Once you have calculated how many hours this project will take you, you can then assign an hourly rate to your time. After you have found an appropriate hourly fee, you can tack on your fees for content requests.
To get more insight on how you should charge for licensing, whitelisting and other brand stipulations, check out Social Blue Book.
When you present your rates to brands, present them as one flat fee with your estimated hourly rate bundled with your usage fee prices.
Once you decide on how much your content is worth, re-evaluate your rate often; as your follower count grows, so does your experience and so does your value.
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